About Jesus Steve Sweetman
This Section - Chapter 27
was decided to send Paul to
thing that we should note here is that Roman law made Paul pay his own way
note in verse 2 that Luke specifically includes himself with Aristarchus
and Paul on the trip. Thus we
now enter another "we" section of the book of Acts.
"We", as in Luke was with Paul during these days.
man is mentioned, and his name is Julius.
He is in charge of looking after Paul.
He was a soldier in the Imperial Regiment, which is just another
name for the Roman army. Only
Roman citizens could be a part of this army.
verse 3 we note that the first stop the ship made was in
do note from the beginning that Paul had a good measure of freedom, even
though he was numbered with other prisoners.
This is most likely due to the fact that he had not yet been tried
ship that they were on was called a coastal ship, a ship suited to follow
the coast line. This ship was
not a large ship that would normally head out to the deep sea.
verse 9 Luke tells us that sailing was now getting dangerous.
Sailing between September and into November was somewhat dangerous
because of the winds and the coming of winter.
Most ships did not even sail from November through to March.
mentions that “the Fast” had already passed.
The fast referred to here is the Day of Atonement.
Therefore it was already October, possibly in 59 or 60 AD.
The Law of Moses only stipulated or set aside one day to fast and
this was the Day of Atonement.
verses 9 and 10 Luke records that Paul suggested that they stay in Fair
Haven where they were presently docked, a city in the
verse 13 Luke notes that a gentle south wind was blowing, the captain of
the ship decided to set sail. The
ship followed the southern coast of
on route another wind from the north and east took over.
This wind was of hurricane proportion. It was so strong that they
could not head west as they wanted.
captain lost control of the ship and could do nothing but let the wind
blow them wherever it wanted. They
passed by a little island called Cauda.
wind was so strong that their life boat was in danger of being lost.
Some suggest that the life boat was probably being towed by the
ship. Luke helps the others
secure the life boat. Then the
sailors rapped a strong rope around and under the ship to help keep it
together. This shows you how
strong the wind was. It was in fact a hurricane. They
were afraid that the wind would actually rip the ship apart.
this point the captain felt that they should lower their sea anchor.
He did not want the wind to drive them onto a sand doom thus
breaking the ship apart. He
felt that maybe they could weather the storm better with the ship anchored
spent a night in this situation and the next day the storm was worse than
ever. They thus decided to
throw the ship's cargo
overboard. Tin verse 18 Luke
says that the next day they threw the ships cargo overboard.
continues by saying that they could not see the sun for days.
Literally, they were in the midst of this storm for many days and
were ready to give up, fearing the worse.
this time all on board had not been able to eat for quite a while.
Most likely depression, fear, and anger were taking over the hearts
of those on board. Yet Paul
had been through many trials before. In
verse 21 He stood up and said, "Men, you should have taken my advice
not to sail from
interesting point here might be that when things get rough and men of the
world fear for their lives, then those who are secure in the Lord have an
opportunity to take charge of things.
This is important in hard economic times, or other bad times even
in our day. Of course, we must
first be strong in the Lord ourselves to be of any help like Paul was
here. We should therefore grow
in strength during the good times in order to do the work of the Lord in
the bad times.
did Paul know this? He said,
"last night an angel of the God whose I am and whom I serve stood
beside me and said, 'do not be afraid, Paul.
You must stand trial before Caesar, and God has graciously given
you the lives of all that sail with you'".
here how Paul describes himself. He
says “the God whose I am”. This
is what being a Christian is all about.
It does not merely mentally believe in the existence of a Jesus.
It is giving yourself to Jesus and His Father so you can say like
Paul that you are a follower of "the God whose I am".
What Paul is saying here is that he has given himself to God. He
belongs to God. God owns him.
Because of this fact he serves God in the way in which God wants
him to serve. There is a big
difference between one saying
that he is a believer and one actually being a servant of God who owns
is another thing to note here. If
you were in doubt, and I have raised the question earlier, that Paul made
a mistake in appealing to Caesar, then doubt no more.
The angel clearly says that God wants Paul to go to
is clear that Jesus wanted the gospel preached to the supreme leader of
in the 1980’s Pat Robertson of the Christian Broadcasting Network ran
for the leadership of the Republican Party in the
did not ask Paul to be politically involved, but he certainly wanted Paul
to present the gospel to the highest authority in the known world at that
time. Why the Lord chose Paul
to proclaim the gospel as a prisoner, I can only guess, but the gospel
would be preached, and even Caesar would have the choice to accept or
reject what he heard.
should know that God deals with humanity in two ways.
He deals with us as individuals and also as nations.
Evangelicals have often downplayed the point that God deals with
nations, or so I think.
Another thing to note from verse 24 is that an angel
spoke to Paul this time. It
wasn't Jesus who spoke to Paul as He had often done before.
There might be a specific reason why an angel spoke to Paul here
and not Jesus. If you closely
read the book of Revelation you will notice that anytime a natural
disaster takes place on earth, it is an angel who causes the disaster.
It's my thinking that angels are given responsibility over nature.
The term "mother nature" is not Biblical.
There is no mother in charge of nature.
Angels are in charge of nature.
So, Paul, and those with him are in the middle of a storm, a
natural disaster. It only
makes Biblical sense then that an angel and not Jesus would speak to Paul
on this occasion. An angel is responsible for this storm.
verse 25 Paul tried to encourage the men with him by saying that he
"had faith in God that it will happen just as He told me".
If Jesus has clearly told us something, we can indeed trust Him
that what He has told us will come about.
Paul says, "Nevertheless we must run aground on some island".
Paul is saying that his God will deliver all of these men, but
there will be some scary moments in the meantime.
Paul knew all too well about scary moments.
is very clear that God had a plan for Paul. He had a goal in mind.
Getting to this goal was far from easy.
When one becomes a Christian he should never expect a life free of
hardships, especially if He has called you to do something special for
note that the lives of the other men on this ship were saved because of
the presence of Paul and his friends.
It is my opinion that even non-Christians around us, who have
contact with us, can receive a measure of God’s blessing, merely because
of us and God’s blessing on us.
verse 27and following we see that the next thing Luke records is the
events that took place “on the fourteenth’ night of the storm.
This was quite a bad storm. Luke
said that “the sailors sensed that they were approaching land”,
meaning that they could not see the land but felt that there was land
that they might smash their ship on a rocky shore line they threw
overboard a device that would tell them how deep the water was.
The water was 120 feet deep. Then
a short time later they did the same thing and found now that the water
was 90 feet deep, telling them that indeed they were approaching land.
thus decided to anchor the ship with 4 anchors in the hopes that it would
not crash the ship on shore. At
this point Luke tells us that they prayed for morning to come.
all were hoping for morning. Some
of the sailors, if not all of them, had a plan of escape.
They lowered the life boat into the water, pretending that they
were going to put more anchors in the water.
Yet once they got in the life boat they were going to attempt to go
to shore and leave the others in the ship.
is a sharp individual. He saw
what was happening and in verse 31 he says to the centurion and soldiers
guarding the prisoners, “unless these men (the sailors) stay with the
ship, you cannot be saved”. Simply
put, Paul was saying that if these sailors desert us, then everyone else
on board including the soldiers could not be saved because they had no
knowledge of how to operate a ship, especially in such a storm.
hearing what Paul said some soldiers cut the rope that was attached to the
life boat and let it drift away on its own.
I am sure that the sailors weren’t very happy about this, but the
soldiers probably had weapons with them that made the sailors comply.
morning came, Paul understood that things were most likely going to come
to an end. He urged everyone
to eat something, since they had not eaten in the last 14 stressful days.
Everyone would obviously need strength to survive the events that
soon would be upon them.
Paul took bread, gave thanks to Jesus for the bread and ate some.
You can clearly see Paul’s confidence in the Lord.
He appears to be relatively at ease, or at ease enough to be able
to eat and actually thank God for the food.
You can also see Paul's leadership skills at work here.
He became the leader of all those on the ship.
Again, in times of distress God's people can rise to the top and be
the leaders they should always be.
verse 35 Luke tells us that the rest were somewhat encouraged by what Paul
said and they ate as well. Luke
states that there were 276 people on board that ship. There is some
controversy over this number. Some
Greek manuscripts have the number 76 and not 276.
they had eaten what they wanted, they started throwing grain overboard to
lighten the ship. This
confirms the fact that this was actually a grain ship.
Those on the northern shore of the Mediterranean Sea got their
grain via ships from
finally came. They could now
see land, but they did not recognize it.
They did see a sandy shore so it was decided to run the ship into
the sand, which would most likely be better than running it into a bunch
cut the ropes to the anchors and the rudders.
Then they hoisted a sail and let the wind drive them into the
beach. The ship then struck a sandbar and got stuck.
The bow of the ship was secured tightly in the sand causing the
stern of the ship to be battered and tossed by the wind of sea.
It could not stand the pressure and the stern began to brake up.
verse 42 Luke records that at this point the soldiers planned to kill the
prisoners. They were afraid
that they would now escape to shore. If
you remember from before, we noted that soldiers were responsible for
their prisoners. If any of
them got away, then the soldier would be executed.
captain of the guard did not want Paul killed so he commanded the soldiers
not to kill any of the prisoners. Paul’s
very presence saved the lives of many men.
The captain of the soldiers then told those who could swim to jump
overboard and swim to shore. The
rest, who couldn’t swim, were told to find a piece of the ship and float
to shore. In doing this, all
reached shore; all were saved, just as the Lord told Paul would happen. What
God predicts will happen, will indeed happen.
You can count on that.
looks pretty clear that the captain over the soldiers had great respect